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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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29 August 2010

Chapter Twenty-Two

The last time you see Tony for quite a while...

Chapter XXII

Emerging from his cabin the next morning, Anthony immediately noticed that there was such a thick fog hanging around that he could hardly see three feet in front of his face.
“Mate!” he shouted into the fog “Come out from wherever you are and try to be careful for once!”
The loud clomping of heavy boots was heard from somewhere in front of him, followed by a hollow “thunk” which was followed by the Mate himself sliding into view.on his back.
Hurriedly getting up from this undignified entrance, the Mate dusted off his coat and straightened it out as he explained. “Sorry, sir. I slipped on a patch of damp from last night’s rain.”
“Never mind that,” Anthony answered “is there a way you can signal the fleet through this fog?”
“We’ll have to use lanterns. It’s extremely dangerous so near Britain.”
“We’ll do it anyway. Carry on.”
“Good, Sir, what shall I say?
“Just say “Reef all sails and wait for the fog to lift”.
“Oh… fine then, I’ll do that.” The Mate answered apprehensively, and wandered off to find the lanterns.
Anthony stood still for a short time, and then went back to his cabin and slept for a time. Two hours later, he went back out on deck to check the status of the fog. At that moment, he felt a slight bump against the side of the ship. As if it had been pulled off by a giant hand, the fog lifted clear off the deck. Anthony could clearly see several men climbing aboard, with blades in their belts.
As he dashed forward, several more men gained the deck, shouting loudly. Reaching for his swords, he found that he had left them in his cabin. Dashing back, he slammed the door, drew the bolt, and dove under the bunk for his swords. Scrambling out, he jumped up, noticing that the enemies outside were pounding on the door.
“Fine,” he said “If they want to come in, I’ll let them.” Timing it perfectly, he unlocked the door a second before the attackers collided with it again. Unable to stop themselves, the British men came careening in at full speed. The leader collided with the wall, and his followers piled on, one after another.
While all this was going on, Anthony just stood off to the side, laughing fit to burst.
After a few minutes of shoving, during which Anthony kept laughing, as if he would never run out of breath, the leader of the British extricated himself from the bottom of the pile. Drawing two swords, he exclaimed “Funny, eh? Well we’ll see if you’re still around to laugh at anything when I’m done with you. You’ll be sorry you messed with the Admiral Lord Whiddake when he’s done with you! If you’re still alive”
Raising his own pair of blades, Anthony remarked “Really? Well, you must admit that it’s hard to see anything funnier than when you and your men came running in screaming like banshees after I unlocked the door. Your faces looked ridiculous.” With that, the duel began.
At that same moment, the main group was finishing a hasty breakfast. The twins were off to the side, discussing something that no one else could hear. “Poor boys,” David remarked as he munched on his beef “They spend half their lives in the dark about their father’s location, then I have to tell them that he died. After all that, it turns out that he survived somehow, and they reattach, split up, reattach again, and then he dies again, this time for real.”
“I know it’s hard,” Dameon replied “But Matt’s not taking it as hard as I thought he would. That’s good, because in a war, anyone who is still capable of worrying about anything else is a dangerous liability.”
A few minutes later, the twins returned to the group and simultaneously announced “We’re leaving.”
“Yes! We’ll come too!” the younger boys cheered.
At that, Dameon stood up and exclaimed “None of you are going anywhere without me!”
“Aw, father, you’re letting them leave, why can’t we go?” John whined
“Because,” Dameon answered “They told me this morning that today is their eighteenth birthday. Besides, I never really had control over them in the first place.” He turned and saw that the twins had left while he was still speaking, taking their share of the food with them. Dameon immediately called out “David, Gabriel, go after those two and tell them that I told you to stay with them to make sure they get home. I’ll watch these boys.”
David and Gabriel immediately grabbed their packs and ran off without saying a word.
Dameon picked up his pack and said “It’s no use going the same direction, so we’ll try north.” Six hours later, the little group, now made up of only Dameon, his son John, his nephew Luke, and his nephew Raphael, had traveled almost eight miles away from their starting point just outside Madrid. It being only six o’ clock in the middle of summer, they only took a short rest, and then pushed on for another two miles. By that time, it was seven o’ clock and beginning to darken. So Dameon halted the march, noticing a town on the horizon in which he would be able to find fresh supplies.
The next morning, Dameon woke the boys and told them to follow him in to the town separately, so as not to attract suspicious notice. He would meet them in the in the public square, if there was one. If not, they would find him in the courtyard of the tavern nearest the city gate.
Dameon walked the two miles to the town in solitary silence, hearing birds twitter in the trees in the area. He occasionally spotted a squirrel or a hare, but those were few and far between. Feeling relieved that such a peaceful place existed; Dameon was in front of the city gates almost before he noticed.
There were two drowsy guards holding antique spears in front of the gate, one on each side. One looked rather thin and raggedy, but the other had a stomach that went out past his belt. Dameon spotted a jug of beer sitting near the fat one’s chair. He picked it up and splashed their faces, shouting “Oy, guards! Challenge me!” they both woke with a start. The fat one exclaimed “Hey, what’s that?, Oh, no entrance without papers or payment!” as the guards crossed their weapons to block the way.
“Papers and such make no difference to me.” Dameon said in a low voice “I am an officer of His Majesty’s court, so do not try to stop me. Also, I have three assistants coming behind, and do not stop them either. Let me pass.”
“R-R-Right away, sir, and don’t worry about those as-s-ssistants of yours. They’ll be fine.” The fat guard stammered.
Dameon passed through, glaring at them all the while. As he walked through the town, he noticed the deathly silence that hung over the town. He wandered through the town looking through windows in all the buildings. In all of them, there were at least two people, seemingly asleep. Dameon entered one house, crept into the parlor, and took a long look at the occupants. They were all stone dead.
Then Dameon heard a shrill chattering noise behind his back. He turned just in time to see a rat scuttle into a hole at the other end of the room. Rats! The Plague! It was no wonder that the guards would not let anyone in! The whole town had been empty of human life for at least two days! Dameon ran back to the main gate, and stopping just short of it, strolled out and said, in his previous voice “Are you aware that you are the only people left alive in the entire town? Leave if you value your lives!”
The guards turned to look at him, their faces as white as ghosts. Dameon asked them “Where is the nearest town after this one?” One guard pointed behind his back. North?” Dameon asked. He nodded. The other guard held up three fingers. “Hours?” No response. “Days?” Vigorous nodding. “All right then,” Dameon responded “Get moving, now.”
As the guards disappeared, Dameon rejoined his group, which had been about to go to him. Immediately, he told them “We can’t stop here. There is another town three days away. We need to get there fast. I’ll explain later.” As the boys started to protest, he quickly turned away and started off, the boys struggling to keep up with him. After they were past the town, he turned and said “They were all dead. The Plague finished them off.” and kept walking.
They walked in stunned silence for about three hours, then found a large, shady tree and napped away the midday hours. At about two, they started off again. This time, they kept walking until seven, when the sun went down.
The next morning, they were up at dawn. Dividing their rations, which were nearly gone, they began their march. Resting for a few minutes at noon, they continued on until sunset.
The next day, they started at dawn again. The rations were gone. They desperately needed to get to the town today. At noon, they were two miles from their destination. They kept going. Then, suddenly, a squad of horsemen dashed out of the gate, headed straight for them! In five minutes, the soldiers had reached them. Then, the horsemen jumped off and quickly surrounded them. Tying Dameon’s hands behind his back, they marched off toward the town.
When they reached the town, Dameon and the boys were paraded through the streets like trophies from a big game hunt. When they got to the main square, the whole marketplace erupted in cheers. Dameon looked around to find out exactly why everyone was so excited at his capture, and noticed that in every shop window, there was a picture of his face. The posters had evidently been sent from Madrid by express.
After they had been shown in the square for a while, the Americans were led into the jail and locked up separately.
Understanding the gravity of the situation, the boys had kept quiet during the whole episode. But, once the jailers were out of earshot, they all started complaining loudly.
“Why are we locked up separately?!” John shouted
“I’m starving” added Luke “Don’t they have the decency to feed their prisoners?!”
“So we don’t conspire to escape!” answered Dameon “And we’ll get bread and water, just like normal prisoners!”
Then Raphael cut in. “Quiet down! I can’t hear myself think!”
“What’s on your mind?” the others asked, quieting down.
The answer came back sharply, but very clearly. “A way to escape, of course! I’ll get back to you when I have one.”
The others stopped talking. Retreating to the backs of their cells, they sat wondering how there could possibly be a way to escape their situation.

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